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  • 15
  • Crime, Drama
  • 1967
  • 126 mins

Cool Hand Luke

Film4 Cool Hand Luke


"Still shakin' it, boss." Paul Newman in his blue-eyed prime stars in one of the greatest prison flicks ever made


A never-better Paul Newman is the non-conformist, anti-hero loner of the title. Arrested for vandalizing parking meters, he ends up on a chain gang in a Southern prison. Pigheadedly resisting authority, he gains the respect of his fellow prisoners, and becomes a hero to them, more so after hearing of his mother's death, when he makes persistent attempts to escape.

The Luke-as-Christ religious allegory has come in for some critical stick, but it's still cracking entertainment. There are unforgettable scenes (you'll never look at hard-boiled eggs the same way again) and superb acting. Newman is irresistible, Donn Pearce's adaptation of his novel is quite brilliant and Conrad L Hall's cinematography is stunning.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Paul Newman, Anthony Zerbe, Strother Martin, George Kennedy, Clifton James, Jo Van Fleet, Robert Drivas, Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton, JD Cannon, Lou Antonio, Luke Askew
  • Director: Stuart Rosenburg
  • Screen Writer: Frank Pierson, Donn Pearce
  • Writer (Book): Donn Pearce
  • Producer: Gordon Carroll
  • Photographer: Lalo Schifrin

In a nutshell

A tough, taut, smart milestone in the evolution of the American anti-hero, and cracking entertainment too.

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